A pretending Pretender
August 24 2012
I was recently in Edinburgh to view an auction, so took the opportunity to visit the Palace of Holyrood again. Well worth a trip if you haven't been. Hanging in Mary, Queen of Scots' former bedchamber was the above portrait described as Henry Benedict Stuart, Cardinal York, son of the Old Pretender James III, and to Jacobites King Henry IX. But sadly it isn't him. A fine portrait of James and his sister hangs close by in the same room. Poor James, dogged as he was by accusations that he was himself not begotten of, James II, I can't bear to think of him being forced to look at an interloper pretending to be his son.